The Abacus was popularly known as a counting frame used by merchants during the ancient times (2400 B.C.) Our ancestors used to put the beads in a tray to keep track of the count of their sales, however, the beads kept on spilling off so they thought of placing the beads along the rod. It was believed that abacus was invented by Chinese people and they called it “suanpan” which means “counting tray”.
Over time, the abacus became so popular that other regions in the world started to use it. The abacus was initially meant for counting but methods were later formulated to calculate equations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and more functions. Even today, the abacus has been widely used as a tool to make arithmetic calculations. Even though calculators have been invented in this era, there are still many good reasons why children should learn the abacus.
Enhances Cognitive Development
Abacus training shows wonderful results in cognitive development in children.
About 90% of primary students use the left hemisphere of their brain in understanding information, languages and sounds. On the other hand, creativity involves using the right hemisphere of the brain. This is also where children learn the imagination and visualization skills.
An abacus is divided into two decks. The beads on the upper deck are used for counting the value of ‘5’, and the beads on the lower decks are used for counting the value of ‘1’. Beads represented as values will help young children develop their imagination and visualization skills where they perform calculations through patterns and sequences in the abacus, as it is easier for them to learn through visualization than to start with written equations. This forms the basis for mental arithmetic training.
Boosts Concentration and Memory
Research has shown that many children who have undergone abacus training have a greater advantage in concentration and memory. It also improves children’s photographic memory abilities.
The abacus is a good tool to introduce to toddlers as their exercise for number counting. It has been proven that abacus learners were found to be more superior in memory retention for larger numbers, as compared to non-abacus learners. Since children need to use their eyes and hands to stir the beads of the abacus, they are engaged to learn visually and kinestatically. This trains their visualization and fine motor skills.
With such good results, more schools have introduced abacus training in their curriculum, although there are certain crucial characteristics which make some abacus programs more effective than the rest.
Once an abacus learner is well-trained, the child learns to solve arithmetic problems mentally without depending on computers, calculators or any other tool, hence he/she will be self-reliant in solving problems and equations. With increased confidence, the child will be ready to perform better.
Being introduced to abacus in early childhood exposes children to an alternative form of learning Mathematics. Learning abacus does not only help them excel in Mathematics but it also improves their proficiency in all other subjects.
How we help!
Mentalmatics offers Mental Arithmetic programs that utilize 2-hand 4 fingers abacus and arithmetic techniques. Classes are held in a fun way of teaching!
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